Releasing a debut album in this day and age isn’t hard for a band to do. Anyone with their hands on a PC or Mac can create one in the blink of an eye. Releasing a debut album that is of a high quality and professional standard though IS hard, very hard (and trust me here, I’m speaking from experience). Releasing a debut album as a thrash band in 2012 when you’re having to go toe to toe with releases from the likes of Anthrax, Testament, Megadeth, Overkill and Onslaught in the past 12 months to name a few, means you’re going to have to do something pretty damn extra special to get the credit you deserve for the music you’ve created.
I would love to say that is the case for UK thrashers Reign of Fury with their debut album World Detonation.
The band themselves are an amalgamation of friends that have met over the past 15 years on the UK punk and metal scene, formed to celebrate the types of music that provided the most significant influences to the members throughout their lives and you can hear that throughout World Detonation.
There are shades of speed metal, bay area thrash, NWOBHM, twin guitar melodies akin to Maiden and Priest. The vocals from Bison bring to mind what Dexter Holland from The Offspring would sound like if he had a love child with Chuck Billy of Testament. The guys are pretty damn brave with some of the musical choices they’ve made on the album as well, but altogether I’m not sure it comes together as coherently as it could do. That said, I’m more than willing to cut them some slack here as not only did they write the album, they also recorded, mixed, mastered, designed and without a doubt sweat blood and tears to get this together and out into the public domain as a bona fide release. For that alone the band deserve huge kudos.
Now, I mentioned above that they made some brave choices for the album, especially as a “thrash” band. Firstly, the opening track “Goodbye Mother Earth” is a three minute instrumental that feels like an overly long intro. It doesn’t grab you by the balls and give you a right good shake and my worry here is that it may give listeners a false impression of how the album is going to pan out.
When it’s followed by the thumping “Infernal Conflict”, THEN do you get to hear just how good these guys can be. It DOES give you a right good bloody shake, it shakes you to the bones. This, to my ears, should have been your opening track lads. It’s a ripper and followed up with an equally solid track in “Envy the Dead” that is positively dripping in Bay Area thrash influence. It’s a great change of pace from Infernal Conflict and also has some great evil undertones in the riffage and chorus growls.
After those two tracks my second point comes to the fore. This album has not one, not two, but three tracks all clocking in at over 8 minutes. That is not only brave but also incredibly ballsy, to have faith that all three will hold the listener. For the most part they do, although “Heaven Waits, Hell Takes” I did find to be the lesser of the three and didn’t quite hold my interest in the way the title track, “World Detonation”, did. Its great pace and commercial edge through the vocal harmonies and guitar melodies has it treading into positively progressive metal territory. A far better epic track than Heaven Waits and deserving of the title track. It has some great Megadeth styled guitar work in places. The final epic, and last song on the album too, “The Hound” is more thrash-like in its approach. It’s like a head-on collision between Megadeth and Metallica with shades of Leper Messiah in the riffs. A solid end to the album indeed.
Sandwiched in-between these three monsters are two more tracks that highlight Reign of Fury doing what I reckon they do best. “Born to Die (Dying to Live)” is a song that screams to me of a track that would be huge live. It’s good, melodic thrash that I reckon would get a pit going in an instant while “Vile Submission” is very much the flip side of this. It’s commercial, it’s anthemic, it reminds me of Trivium in places.
It’s a good album, it’s a solid foundation to build on as a debut, it’s a testament (no pun intended) to the sheer bloody-mindedness of a band who obviously work hard as hell to produce something that you can see they have a lot of love for. The musicianship on display is great, the production quality of the album is superb (although I feel perhaps has a little bit too much top end for my liking and needs more kick coming from the bass and drums), and I think these guys have a great future ahead of them.
World Detonation is released on August 13th 2012 via Mosh Tuneage (PHD / Plastic head music ) & Goodlife Recordings Belgium.
Goodbye Mother Earth
Envy the Dead
Heaven Waits, Hell Takes
Born to Die (Dying to Live)
Reign of Fury are:
Bison – Vocals
Jon Priestley – Lead Guitar
Ed Westlake – Lead Guitar
Magic Dave – Drums
Heavy Matt Earl – Bass
The track ‘World Detonation‘ is available as a free download – www.reverbnation.com/reignoffury